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The DWmegawad Club plays: Plutonium Winds & Master Levels for Doom II

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MAP17

The secret at the very beginning I unintentionally discovered by my old habit of exploring the walls of light.

I liked the design of this map - a red cave and thickets. In terms of gameplay, this level is quite grindy (or seems to be). There is also a cyberdemon sniper, but there are many checkpoints where arch-viles and revenants guard the passageways. The most dangerous revenants are in the very top of the cave, on a ledge. You just may not see their fireballs coming down from above.

In a place where there are three key switches, you can catch your breath. But still, hitscanners and revenants, who crawl through a narrow passage, can enter there. In this place you can take a break if you have a BFG and you can lure the whole crowd in this direction, and evacuate via teleport.

The secret with the soulsphere and a small red button is extremely clear.

It was obvious that near the end of the level the BFG and the corresponding opposition would be available, only smaller than at the previous level.

The final candlelight walk and the lonely zombieman seem like a little mockery.

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MAP17: Rather distinct for the more natural theme and shapes where a combo of red and green rocks set the theme, with the "odd" presence of computer panels and electric lights. It creates a good abstract feel. More interesting in the first half with the search for the 3 keys and a cyberdemon that on its turret has a good sight of the places you must pass through, you can telefrag it later and the route is conveniently nested after the RK so you can't kill the cyberdemon so early. Then archviles everywhere.

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MAP17: Diabolism (Plutonium Winds)

GLBoom+ 2.5.1.4, HMP-PS, no saves, 100/97/100

 

This one feels like a breather level, being much easier than the previous ones. The first secret was very easy to find, as I followed my personal #1 rule: always check behind the start for secrets. Afterwards, we get a scary glimpse to what we'll face soon. The first wave of monsters is triggered by a switch, and provided you pay attention to the cyberdemon's rockets it shouldn't pose any problem. I actually got my only death of the level here, scratched by a hell knight I stupidly didn't see. The texturing here is lovely, I think the red/green combination along with nukage is really pleasing to the eye and the tech textures make me think of a former techbase slowly overtaken by hell forces.

 

The path to the red key is guarded by a few arachnotrons and an arch-vile, nothing too difficult. Then we got a little bit of parkour into the next section, killing revenants, an arch-vile and a hell knight as we climb up the stairs. Here you can run straight across to find a teleporter that brings you to the blue key, telefragging the cyberdemon in the process. All that remains is the yellow key, obtained after traversing a spiral staircase, with revenants, arch-viles and heavy weapon dudes (repetitive, but so is Plutonia after all!) attacking you from scattered platforms. The megaarmor is nearby, as is the secret supercharge accessed by pressing a cleverly hidden switch, similar to the ones we find in Memento Mori MAP25, although those aren't as hidden.

 

Now, it's a matter of grabbing the yellow key and flipping all three keyed switches to bring the mannequin monsters to life. This final fight is akin to the one in the previous level, albeit much more forgiving. The arch-viles pose the only threat, so quickly dispose of them with the newly acquired BFG9000 before they resurrect everything that doesn't move. The ending provides some more simple platforming, the candles provide a nice little detail to what is otherwise a bit filler. I found the zombieman at the exit hilarious, was expecting yet another arch-vile :P

 

Bonus points for using a Rise of the Triad MIDI that brings back memories from the first time I played Hell Revealed, gradually improving my skill level as I mercilessly succumbed to the demonic hordes time and time again :) I couldn't figure out how to obtain the invulnerability. All in all, a decent level, with some cute platforming. The overabundance of supplies made this level much easier than it should be as the penultimate level.

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really enjoyed pw when it was released. I recall pestering darkreaver to finish its mostly-completed(?)-but-never-released sequel, but iirc those maps got cannibalized for pl3 so who knows. overall it's one of those sets that feels really dialed in to the small/medium-scale gameplay-centric proto-slaughter (S/M-GCPS), with some speedmappy eccentricities that keep you on your toes. some flyby comments based on a recent replay:

 

12: pure arcadey opener. also a reminder of how awesome that MCx texture is.

13: coaxing an entertaining setup out of what feels like a single narrowly-winding hallway is laudable. it's almost funny how over-tuned the RSK grab is.

14: influences really worn on the sleeve for this one. I remember being inspired by the U-room vignette, I'm 99% sure I've plagiarized that in something of my own.

15: a basically-perfect distillation of what makes a S/M-GCPS map good.

16: darkreaver and danne have (had?) many similarities in their mapping style, my overarching sense for this one is "what if danne made skepland?"

17: influences are so overt that I shouldn't even need to mention it. when it comes to speedmapping I think you get into the best groove (in terms of developing gameplay) when you already have a thematic identity to work with.

18: definitely an outlier, full-on chaotic slaughter arena. iirc this map was added later some time after the initial release. a really fun example of the style.

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Map 18: "Abigor" 

 

This gives the impression at first of a disconnected bonus map [apparently it was, heh], with a marked aesthetic shift and a super lenient first stage outside of brief tangos with major threats. Lenient doesn't mean dull. This first stage pushes you to enjoy mobility, to zoom around with flyby SSG shots and RL volleys, and a full clear is elective; you can continue whenever you feel like it. The second stage is more what we'd expect: eight viles released into the fray, a squadron of revenants and chaingunners and PEs in their midst. Resonances of m15: waste the early blue armor and make sure you have lube to replace it, because the viles can get rough. It is key to scamper for cells dotted around -- taking out all the viles RL-exclusive can be done but is very involved. The exit sequence is academic with all the space. 

 

Plutonium Winds has been a fun ride. It is one of those sets that could have been forgotten, but its memory has been kept afloat by pockets of fandom who mention it in various threads a few times a year. People who like tough maps are always on the lookout for the rare quality stuff pitched at high intensity, and darkreaver's works certainly belong in that category. 

 

2 hours ago, Ribbiks said:

small/medium-scale gameplay-centric proto-slaughter (S/M-GCPS)

 

oh come on

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Got some time to go through maps 15-18 saveless in a row:

 

Map 15: I like the brick/blood theme with touches of redrock/tech/wood textures. Nice architecture vista from the exit teleport watching the start of the map. Nice gameplay, short and fun map (I like the vile jump to telefrag the cyber). 4/5

 

Map 16: Really like both the brick/comp plutonia areas and the cave areas of this map. Very fun to play with a great final fight (never managed to vile jump to the BFG in this map but I will try). 5/5

 

Map 17: Great theme and gameplay again (the animated plutonia textures and the vine one works very well with the redrock) I also dig the shape and the proportion of the cavern. 5/5

 

Map 18: Simple but effective visuals and layout, I like this one too. Despite this can seems a simple level there are a lot of interesting ideas which can be discerned while playing it. For the final fight I found that the best strategy is to Hunt down all the viles, then the rest. Not my favorite of the wad but still very good. 4/5

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I've been reading your map 17 reviews with interest because I have a somewhat different review from everyone else...

 

MAP17 - “Diabolism”

 

I don’t know if it is was the kind of mood I was in after a long day at work, but I really didn’t enjoy this map.

 

The menagerie of monsters at the start was really cool. And then you press the first switch. Throughout the map the monster placement seemed designed to frustrate. Revenants and arch viles in sniper spots, or in confined spaces it was hard to dodge out of. Arch viles that spawn right in front of you. Arch viles that resurrect what you already killed in the previous battle(s). That cyberdemon that won’t go away. The HOM (the one that @DJVCardMaster screenshotted). Thank goodness for the soulsphere secret, cleverly hidden by a switch built into one of the crates. And thank you for the teleport that finally telefrags the cyberdemon.

 

The final battle was also frustrating, until the correct sequence becomes clear. Teleport first, grab the BFG and soulsphere, rush back to the starting position, killing everything in the way, getting the berserk secret. Then pick off the residuals.

 

The texture choices were a little odd to me. The starting position suggests standard Plutonia jungle, then you proceed into a cave of ROCKRED and poison, then a small techbase section at the end.

 

The map finishes with a dark windy path lit by candles, the exit guarded by one puny zombieman.

 

MAP18 - “Abigor”

 

I played this map the following day to the previous one, which was a wise decision. This is the slaughter finale. The first battle in the techbase start is pretty fun, well it is if you find the blursphere secret anyway, so those pesky chaingunners are way less threatening. Then the map opens up to a large rectangle filled with water, guarded by clumps of revenants atop raised platforms. The SSG ammo you get is enough to kill a lot of them but not all of them.

 

Instead, it is a good idea to go to the south of the map where the rocket launcher. This part is tricky because there are two arch viles, but without the BFG it’s hard to actually penetrate them unless they advance themselves right in front of you (Doom innuendo right there, what can I say). The pain elementals too spawn countless lost souls which takes ages to finish off; likewise those pesky sniping revenants.

 

But then comes the real battle. Two skull switches lower the teleporter that take you to the BFG and the three keys, at the price of another big slaughter. One that’s much harder than the one seen on Map 16 because this time plasma is rationed heavily. Hence the successful player will take a route that gets the most plasma before starting the battle, which is by getting all three keys first, as the raised platforms contain plasma ammo. Then the starting techbase contains 200 more plasma ammo, and the arch viles here are pretty easy to one-shot. Then it’s just a matter of picking off the arch viles one-by-one, after which the remaining monsters become trivial to clear.

 

Pretty good so far. But the finale is lame. Firstly, lowering the RK and BK platforms spawn arch viles back in the starting area to spawn the monsters you already killed in the last battle, which is lazy. Then the remaining monsters are just a bunch of revenants with two sniper viles on the platform by the exit, and two cyberdemons, one of which just gets stuck in the blursphere secret (see screenshot). Also, visually it's not as exciting as the other maps. I agree with @rdwpa that this one had a 'disconnected bonus map' feel, but it was still a good map. 

 

Overall Impressions

 

This is a short episode designed to capture the Plutonia aesthetic and gameplay, but turn the difficulty up a notch more in line with the increasingly difficult maps the community have produced over time. Archviles are everywhere in this set, sometimes very well (Maps 15 & 16), sometimes not so well (Map 17 and last bit of Map 18).

 

The two best maps for me (Maps 12 & 15) are also the shorter ones that best encapsulate the Plutonia experience: low monster count, but placed in a difficult way for the player to tackle. Map 17 aside, I enjoyed Plutonium Winds

 

Screenshot_Doom_20191105_210301.png

Edited by Horus

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27 minutes ago, Horus said:

 

Screenshot_Doom_20191105_210301.png

 

Haha glad I'm not the only one. 

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So we all had a cyberdemon stuck in the cubicle? That makes it less hilarious now!

 

I wanted to read what others had to say about map 18, it's the only map that had me hitting a wall on UV back when I first met it not too long ago (several tries before switching to HMP). It occurred to me to try again, the perfect excuse is that it's 7th here and I had mentally prepared a "deep" analysis on how one can solve the map and a demo showing it, though I'll keep it short, you all didn't seem to struggle as much as I did :x

 

Spoiler

 

 

So I like to divide the map in three segments, and concentrate on the first two: SSG/RL cleanup and BFG-plus-keys short movie.

 

- For the first stage I want to leave both the soulsphere and blue armor intact, and focus on not dying to hitscanners. Once the room opens up it follows SSG cleaning, if just for the sake of peace until the next segment. It's when I grab a green armor, open the blur sphere secret, and proceed to the RL. I much prefer to hold the archviles in that enclosed space and bring the PEs somewhat away, then have a tango session with minimal interference. PEs go free in this map no matter what so there's unavoidable janitorial work, and one that's best doing each time so that no sneaky soul desperately charges to your big dildo shooter, them sweet-toothed dummies. Most of the raised revenants don't need to be killed prior the BFG, they get resurrected anyways, but umm again, for the sake of peace I like them dead early.

 

- At this point I make sure to be at 200/100. The BFG segment looks maddening at first, although with some observation you can tell where and when the archviles are coming. Two go down to where you are, surely while picking up cells, so those are direct kills. The rest hang on the main building, along with a salad of resurrected shit and a plethora of chaingunners patrolling the perimeter. That gives time to clear revs, cacos and PEs if they come close, since the viles can't reach you there. Again, PEs go out of control, and while they are not my primary concern (change of usual roles, nice), it's easy to loose some health. Soon or later is time to rush inside, but the twist is all the goodies I left before come into play now: the blur sphere is highly effective against the chaingunners, who otherwise rip you apart immediately in the open; soulsphere + blue armor combo lets you tank high damage, and is easier to access than a green armor, and far more convenient. Viles, revs and gunners are everywhere, but I stand a chance now, and these viles are not easy to control (;

 

The third stage is straightforward, what aren't archviles are basically trash-tier in comparison to the middle stage. I still got reduced to 1%, misjudging a cyberdemon who walked away and returned to save his husband. Then karma hit him in the back lol

 

I think aside from common mistakes, this is a viable route. I'm not sure how to do well if wasted the blue armor at the beginning, the lack of easy-to-access armor for the second half had me kissing the floor on loop my first time. More so if I had to surround the building there was always one or two chaingunners who never died to BFG tracers. With knowledge it's a unevenly chaotic fun map, beginning is fine, second stage is the star, third is trivial if seen like a ''finale". On a side note, the second secret, while seemingly useless if following this route, the wall actually serves for cover (:

 

Okay, later!

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MAP 18 - "Abigor"  (100%K/100%I/50%S)

Well, a totally different style on this map than the rest, it almost looks like a leftover map from another project attached to this mapset, but in a different way than MAP15, in fact, this does not look like Plutonia at all.
At first, I was proud of myself, I had managed to kill every single enemy on the arena, without dying or savespamming, but god I was wrong. The arena quickly turned into the biggest slaughter house this mapset has to offer. several archviles spawning at the center, with tons of hellspawn blocking your way on a really big space. The map immediately converts into Doom 64 title screen with all this chaos, and I died several times until I managed to, again, clear the arena. 
...I was wrong again (silly me not checking the kill counter), as the ending reveals even more Archviles, revs and even two Cyberdemons, and the worst part is, the AV's and revenants can teleport back into the center of the arena! So my best choice was to kill at least one cyberdemon and rush for the exit.
Again, the map ends with a death exit, just as the rest of the levels.
If you can return to the center of the arena, it has tons of supplies and goodies, so this is not that unfair, but due to how big the space in-between walls is, it's really difficult to avoid enemy fire, and specially, AV attacks.
Quite average ending to me, and actually quite anticlimatic.

Deaths: 89 (Will I ever learn to play these maps without dying and save-stating that much?)

Maps in order of preference:

 

Spoiler

 

MAP17 (Very good)
MAP15  (Good)

MAP16 
MAP14 
MAP12 (Average)
MAP18 
MAP13 (Bad)

 


Final words on Plutonium Winds at the end of the month. All I can say is that luckly we are going back to some simpler stuff tomorrow. See you in the Master Levels.


PS: Funny how I rushed to the exit so I could not trigger that weird Cyberdemon bug.

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MAP18 - “Abigor”

The finale of Plutonium Winds is a rather simple, symmetrical, arena full of water and cubic structures using modwall and its companion black square textures. The traps and monster placement mirror each other on each side, and the gameplay revolves around the established formula of repopulating previous areas with Archviles. I can't think of a wad where this trope is used so frequently and aggressively; probably because it falls into what many see as "dick move" territory. Blind play is not very forgiving as, once again, it is not exactly obvious where the cell ammo for the BFG is located. The exit sequence is rather tame compared to the previous fight after flipping two skull switches.

 

Overall Thoughts

After a rough start with the first 2 maps, Plutonium Winds turned out to be a pretty cool set. It's more difficult than I expected initially, but also much easier with foreknowledge of the maps on repeat playthroughs. The maps themselves are quite simple, both in terms of layout and detailing (with map17 being the one exception). It doesn't look like a Boom wad and the detailing and architectures pales in comparison to something like PL2, which was vanilla. Combat manages to stay consistently engaging, although one may get annoyed by how frequently Viles resurrect the enemies you kill. While the forced death exits didn't affect me due to pistol starting, it feels rather excessive to have one after every map. Putting "designed around pistol starts" in the text file works just fine without what feels like the author giving the finger to continuous players.  Overall, Plutonium Winds is a fun set in the spirit of "Plutonia but harder".

 

Final score: 3/5

 

Fav maps: 14, 16

Not really my jam: 12, 13

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9 hours ago, galileo31dos01 said:

you all didn't seem to struggle as much as I did :x

 

Nah I've struggled a lot in map 18 on my first playthrough of this wad (and in map 13 aswell..) and couldn't complete the map saveless. On my second round, time later, when I was playing all darkreaver maps, I've managed to beat map 18 (still with many attempts).

Yesterday was more 'easy'. A matter of practice basically

 

Two things about map 17: if you grab all the three keys without shooting and press the three buttons a room nearby with BFG, cells, and invulnerability open. Also a non secret BFG can be reached by an av jump left to the path that lead to the red key.

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MAP18

And again a secret hidden behind his back. This invisosphere is very useful in the beginning.

When you pick up the BFG, immediately head to the walls of the central building - they will open and there will be many batteries to collect. I only later realized that the pedestal with the BFG can actually lead to different places, depending on which side you go to it.

Over time, it seems that here the main threat is not only numerous arch-viles, but restored chingunners - that’s who can quickly pump out your energy. Because your main weapons here are RL and BFG.

I noticed that in the building cacodemon and chaingunner was stuck in each other- possibly a mapping error.

After collecting all the keys and moving on, several arch-viles and some other monsters arose again. Once again they revive it all? I did not bother with them and cyberdemons near the exit, and just skipped them and broke through to the exit. Enough is enough for me, I'm moving on to Master Levels.

Overall rating: 3 out 5
Favorite map: MAP15
This 7-map episode was completed in 1 hour and 40 minutes. There were heaps of monsters here, unlike Plutonia (although the MAP15 of PW were closer to Plutonia spirit). Usually I don't play such wads very often, but I'd rather play them than typical slaughterwads. In this case, I think the author went too far with arch-viles, given that there are not many safe places, especially last map. As for the visual design of the levels, I have no complaints.

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MAP18: Abigor (Plutonium Winds)

GLBoom+ 2.5.1.4, HMP-PS, no saves, 100% everything

 

After a breather level comes the final level, where interestingly you don't have much room to breathe despite the generous size of the main arena. At the start, it's important to grab the only secrets, as they provide a quick, painless way to deal with the first monsters. After you grab the backpack and the super shotgun, rush out of the starting building as the walls will lower inside, revealing some revenants, cacodemons and hitscanners. Outside you've got more room to clear the mass of imps and arachnotrons, minding the revenants on the platforms obviously. Staying inside is very doable, but causes you to lose significantly more health/armor.

 

Afterwards, you can kill the enemies still inside the building and the revenants on its outer walls. This will help making the hard fight coming up a bit easier. Now, go down the stairs, grab the rocket launcher and ammo and go back up again. A good way to deal with this fight is to control both monster pathways from higher ground, killing the arch-viles first, then the pain elementals and mop up the rest. As the crowd dwindles, you can clear the mass of revenants on the platforms with rockets. When the coast is clear, go down the stairs again to press the switch in the centre. This will lower a lift to the central structure, but beware of sudden heavy weapon dudes. Collect the ammo here and the supercharge, then get your bearings: this next battle is extremely tricky.

 

Flip both switches, the walls surrouding you will lower revealing more enemies. More importantly, a large number of arch-viles will spawn throughout the level and a BFG9000 is now accessible at the base of the revenant tower. However, grabbing this weapon will teleport you to an exposed alcove, so make sure to proceed with caution. To clear this section, again it's needed to control both monster pathways, but since this time they come from higher ground try to stay at the bottom level. When I beat this level, I actually didn't notice the BFG9000 until I had almost finished this section, which was a blessing in disguise for the finale.

 

To finish you're given a megasphere, a godsend to deal with the final monsters. Flipping the first switch will lower down revenants and arch-viles - not a big deal since they approach you from the front. The last switch will reveal revenants and cyberdemons that you can make infight, however I got spooked by the sound of arch-viles resurrecting monsters inside the building so I fluffed that opportunity. You can rush inside and deal with them quickly with weapon #7, or if you're a coward like I am wait for them to go near the windows and kill them from the outside. One last arch-vile remained in the inside while the cyberdemons were closing on me (unlike some of you, neither cyberdemon turned into paperweight so I had to fight them like a man :P), but it seemed more interested in resurrecting its fallen buddies instead of attacking me so I herded the cyberdemons for maximum tracer damage, then finally dealt with the pissed off martian.

 

One last barrier before the end, a line of revenants that took forever to kill since I ran out of rockets and cells, so I had to rush in and out with the super shotgun. A fantastic level, I really liked how the starting building progressively transformed as more enemies were revealed. I felt the supercharge/megaarmor combos really fit with the primary color of this level. I also liked how each side on the teleporter beneath the revenant tower brings you to a different key, indicated in a clear way.

 

Final thoughts:

 

As I said at the start of the month, this was on the Top 25 Missed Cacowards so I had high expectations for this after having played Vile Flesh which I thoroughly enjoyed. Those expectations were met, as this was a ride from start to finish! 7 vastly different speedmaps which retain the good old Plutonia formula, be it in layout, encounter design and texturing/detailing. The difficulty is an order of magnitude above Plutonia, but it rarely felt frustrating. I also like the way Plutonium Winds rewards arch-vile jumps, allowing access to important weapons earlier than intended, telefragging cyberdemons or simply skip large portions of the level.

 

Favourite levels, in order:

  1. MAP15: Memories of Blood
  2. MAP18: Abigor
  3. MAP14: Deadly Intentions

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I didn’t realise a Plutonia 3 was in the works tbh, I still haven’t played either of PL2 or PL Revisited

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3 hours ago, Horus said:

I didn’t realise a Plutonia 3 was in the works tbh, I still haven’t played either of PL2 or PL Revisited

 

Going to surface 

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Might as well give the Master Levels a shot. I've heard varying opinions on them, some claiming them to be a mixed bag, as is the case with many multi-author community projects. Some say it's better than Doom 2. We shall see. I haven't played them before and make no promises that I'll end up playing all the maps.

PRBoom+, UV, Continuous with a Pistol Start mindset.

 

MAP01 - ATTACK.WAD (“Attack”) by Tim Willits

Oh d_runnin, how I've missed you. This one's in the style of an early Doom 2 techbase with some parts reminding me of Entryway and The Gantlet. I'd say the visuals are pretty nice, '95 considered, and a step up in detail from the base Doom 2 game. There is a good variety of low and mid-tier opposition and resources are generous, with every weapon making an appearance sans BFG (and Chainsaw, but who cares?). Combat is leisurely by modern standards, as expected from an official IWAD expansion. There is only one secret which is rather nonsensical, and is the teleport pad which takes you to the exit area. You take some teleports back to tag it but there is no reward or anything. Pretty good classic map to start off this set. 

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@darkreaver Any particular reason you chose mandatory death exits after each map over suggesting pistol starts? Just curious because I haven't played an episode with such a feature.

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I'm eager to play the Master Levels, I like oldschool maps, and I never actually played through most of the maps. So let's see, I have vague memories of some of them, and I don't know how I would feel about them. All I can remember is weird layouts, and too many brown maps. (My memories are from the PSX version of Final Doom which I played long time ago in some friend's house). I hope most of them to surpass my expectations

MAP01 - ATTACK.WAD - "Attack" - Tim Willits (100%K/I/S)

There are too many maps on the MAP01 slot, so I'm going to say right now that I'm going to be tired of D_RUNNIN
In any oldschool megawad, this would work perfectly as a MAP01, it has a nice entryway feeling to it. In terms of the map itself, what a WEIRD layout! Pretty uncommon even for today standards, I think this is a staple of the author, since that (often forgotten) E4M9 from Ultimate Doom, presents a similar interconnected weird layout, and it's made by Tim Willits itself. (I love that map for some reason)
I really like this map even tho I'm not a fan of fully brown maps. Nice low tier fights. It actually never gets too difficult, but at that moment having an easy first map. 
Tons of weird rooms here and there, specially the "secret" sector, what the actual fuck is the point of that? I got confused.
Lovely map, the one that probably much people remember about the Master Levels.

Deaths: 0

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3 hours ago, Spectre01 said:

@darkreaver Any particular reason you chose mandatory death exits after each map over suggesting pistol starts? Just curious because I haven't played an episode with such a feature.

All the maps are basically stand alone maps compiled into an episode of sorts. Also most maps contain like all the weapons :p

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Map 18 : Abigor

 

pw1final-wad-MAP18.png

 

Difficulty : Hard

 

The final and by far the most difficult level. On the other hand, there is no stupid Icon of sin and that is a very good thing. These are major battles in a large area filled with water.

 

It's really the only level that made me die several times, especially because of the trap that is triggered after activating the two buttons accessible by a lift. Hordes of monsters are freeing themselves with many arch-viles but it is not these monsters who have caused me the most trouble. In fact I died very often because of the chaingunners which make circle-strafing very complicated. Arch-viles need time to attack while chaingunners do not. The invisibility sphere was a great help.

I loved the final with the cyberdemons and arch-viles despite the fact that it is actually very easy to go around and run to the exit.

 

Aesthetically, it reminded me of TimeOfDeath maps, especially because of the square architecture and the massive use of textures like "MoDWALL". The slaughter aspect confirms my idea. It's probably a coincidence afterall.

 

In short, a sadistic but excellent level.

 

A screen from "Dholes" by TimeOfDeath" with a massive use of MODWALL textures.

dholes2.jpg

 

My opinion on the wad:

 

I had a very good time on this level pack. First of all, I must point out that almost all the maps have left their mark on my mind. Plutonium Winds is full of interesting gimmicks (e. g. map 02 with revenants and Arch-viles) as well as interesting references about other mapmakers (e. g. map 07 which is a tribute to Death-Destiny).

The Plutonia experience has been largely preserved with effective and dangerous traps. On the other hand, darkreaver has innovated brilliantly by offering slaughter fights that often serve as a grand finale (See map 03, 06, 08. Sorry if I don't mention the exact slot). The BFG is found quite frequently in this wad.

 

Aesthetically, it's quite classic but it's very decent and the architecture merges well with the gameplay. The wad is in Boom format but many maps have a level of detail similar to a wad made for the vanilla format. I like sobriety very much, unlike overdetailing. Looking at the titlepic, the famous black crosses are a kind of signature in the wad.

 

If I had a criticism to make, it would probably be the absence of secret maps and more generally the fact that darkreaver didn't make a whole episode (roughly, from map 11 to map 21).

 

But apart from that, I found Plutonium Winds excellent and it's probably one of the best "Plutonia-Like" I've ever played. I had a lot more fun than on PRCP or PL2 for example.

 

If I would put a note, it would be 8/10.

 

Edited by Roofi

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Okay, on to Master Levels! I've played this a couple months ago and was surprised the club hadn't had the opportunity to play this yet, so I'm eager to read other people's opinions on the levels. 

 

Attack (Master Levels)

GLBoom+ 2.5.1.4, HNTR-PS, no saves, 100% everything

 

You start in a balcony of sorts, containing some shells but no shotgun. In fact, there's no shotgun in this level, so you have to work for it by killing the first shotgun guy you come across, which happens within the first 5 seconds of the level. Afterwards, you can lower the lift for an armor and there's some possibilities to progress, but you can just explore every single door to find your way around. There's a lot of doors in this place, reminding me of E4M9 of Doom by the same author which has a similar door based interconnected layout.

 

After you find the red key, the level becomes a simple, linear affair, where beyond every locked door you find the next key to progress. The usage of bars can stump some players, but it's easy to realize they're openable. There's a megaarmor hidden in a corner near the teleporter to the final area, which should have been a secret instead of the weird backtracking one. The final building is cute, I like the lift after the stairs leading to the imp's sniping spot. You're given every weapon except for the BFG9000 and the chainsaw, although you can plow through everything with the super shotgun and still finish with full shell ammo.

 

All in all, a good level by 1995 standards, albeit a bit on the short & easy side.

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Okay, my first post on this Club, so apologies if you found any mistakes.

Spoiler

Oh yeah, I inspect the .txt file after I've completed each wad of this so-called DLC.

----------------

Master Levels for Doom 2

ATTACK.WAD - MAP01

---------------

 

A pretty simple MAP01, techbase styled wad; made by a level designer of Strife/author of E4M9 of Doom.

 

Despite being an "introductory" map, the map is quite challenging at first - there are lots of enemies that will caught you off-guard.

 

It has a HUGE AMOUNT of hitscan enemies (hence the "well placed monsters" feature described in the .txt file. And it is).

 

And despite having "great outdoor scenery", the layout of the map is... too browny and abstract. And it may seems confusing, just like E4M9 - there are too many doors!

 

 

Once you obtained the red key; the map becomes a lot easier. And by the end of the map, you'll have almost every weapons, except chainsaw and BFG. You can also complete the level using only shotguns.

 

In conclusion, 4.5/5 because of the shitty secret.

(you can basically completed it on UV without cheating at all)

 

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Master Levels by various authors.
Eternity Engine, UV, pistol start.

If you use ZDoom related source port, I recommend using a special Master Levels loader that replaces the old DOS utility:
https://www.doomworld.com/idgames/utils/frontends/zdmlmenu

In my case, I just use the built-in menu in the Eternity Engine:
Ox2NLHd.png

 


Attack

This map shows that it is a set of good-quality maps, at least by the standards of 1995. For those who just recently finished Doom 2 for the first time and want more, this is the recommended mapset.

 

This level consists of interconnected locations, corridors, windows, as well as roaming monsters everywhere (mostly low-tier).
The difficulty is not high even on UV, which is exactly what I like. The main thing is to quickly pick up body armor and SSG, as in the beginning it will be more difficult.

There is even a place where you can get stuck forever, only if you specifically want it - these are elevator doors near the central location, you can jump from it to inescapable pit.

Excessive use of brown textures can be considered a slight drawback.

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Fun thing to note on Attack, the map gives you some rockets, but no RL, and there is no continuous gameplay, so, they all end being useless.

 

I also notice some people not liking door-room-door-room progress on maps these days, this is going to be a recurring problem on the Master Levels, I guess, due  to the fact that old maps where mostly built like that.

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16 minutes ago, DJVCardMaster said:

but no RL

There is one near the rockets, it is not well hidden so I thought anyone could find it.

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18 minutes ago, DJVCardMaster said:

Fun thing to note on Attack, the map gives you some rockets, but no RL, and there is no continuous gameplay, so, they all end being sueles.

There is a rocket launcher, although it's tucked away in a corner so it's easy to miss.

Spoiler

Z4CU5TH.jpg

 

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2 hours ago, Andromeda said:

You're given every weapon except for the BFG9000 and the chainsaw

It is also kind of funny, because all of these maps aren't connected at all, and are meant to be played in pistol start. (I think) So the RL/Plasma Gun are basically redundant at the end of the level.

Edited by TheNoob_Gamer

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